Words of Wisdom

During our bi-weekly division meetings, one team member is chosen to ask a question to the team at the next meeting (hot potato style). A few weeks ago, it was my turn. I struggled to come up with a question—what would engage them in conversation yet also benefit me? After lots of thinking and some help from Josh I gave them the question: What are one or two things that you wish you would have known starting your first professional job or career? Some of their responses are things that we hear all the time while others were not so common. Here’s the advice I received:

  • Take opportunities to learn. Go to training sessions, sit in on meetings, etc.
  • Maintain contacts, even if you don’t think you’ll need them. You never know when you will change careers or have a special project that could utilize those contacts.
  • Find mentors.
  • Try new things and get out of your comfort zone.
  • Be open.
  • Your degree doesn’t always matter. You’re not stuck with what you took classes for in college.
  • Say “yes” to new things to build your skills set.
  • Look for fulfillment outside of work.
  • Learn to say “no” and how to quit if you are not satisfied in your position.
  • Learn others work styles.
  • Don’t guess what others are thinking. If you don’t know, ask.

Sometimes we may feel overwhelmed at the thought of starting our careers but it’s important to remember that everyone has been there. With our internships coming to an end, take every opportunity you can to get advice on ways to make the transition from college life to professional life easier. Good luck! –Kali Mungovan

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3 Responses to Words of Wisdom

  1. Rachel says:

    that is a beautifully crafted question, and some great responses. I think finding mentors and knowing that you may not necessarily have a job after you graduate are two important factors! Thats great that you can go to your supervisors for advice.

  2. hannahosborn says:

    Great advice! I just recently had a friend tell me that she was worried about taking a summer internship doing something that was totally in line with what she wants to do for her career just because it didn’t fit her degree! I whole-heartedly agree that your degree should not pigeon-hole you into a certain area. I recently heard somewhere that oftentimes people have as many as six different careers in their lifetimes so it’s important to explore what interests you and know you can always make a transition later.

  3. Thanks for sharing! You took a step and asked a question that was engaging and helpful to you and to us. Talking to people is the best way to learn. They have been where we are and they survived so there is hope for us all.

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